Sundance Partners with the Roxie for Virtual Fest

The local theater will present some of this year’s films and events as a ‘satellite screen.

The largest independent film festival in the United States is coming to you.

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival is set to take place between Jan. 28 and Feb. 3 through an online platform that features film premieres, events, artist talks, and “cutting-edge XR exhibitions.” 

Through a “satellite screen” program, the festival is also partnering with drive-ins and independent arthouses to bring feature films and customized local programming to communities across the country — including San Francisco’s very own historic Roxie Theater.

“These partners are the backbone of independent artistic communities across the country, where filmmakers are born and cinephiles are developed,” festival director Tabitha Jackson said in a press release. “We’re entering these partnerships because a healthy ecosystem for artists and audiences requires that independent cinemas across the country survive and thrive.”

Each satellite screen will create and host its own virtual events, talks, and artist meet-ups, as well as screen selections from the 2021 program. Program and local screening details are set to be announced later this month on the festival website. Details may evolve with COVID-19 pandemic health and safety guidelines. 

The festival’s online programming also includes 70+ online feature film screenings followed by live Q&As, on-demand access to 50 short films and four episodic works, and a “New Frontier” gallery that features “dynamic, innovative work at the crossroads of film, art, and technology.” That’s 14 live performances, AR, VR, and other emerging media works that can be accessed via computers and VR headsets.

Tickets for single screening, single day, and full run tiers will be available to the general public beginning January 7. For more information, sign up for updates at the festival website

“With this partnership we can offer the San Francisco Bay Area a chance to experience the [festival] without having to travel to Park City,” a representative from the Roxie Theater, wrote in an email. “This is an opportunity for the curious to gain access not only to new films premiering with the Festival online … but to an array of cultural conversations.”
If you’d like to support your local non-profit community theater in the meanwhile, consider donating to the Roxie for a chance to win enticing raffle prizes or checking out its digital film offerings. Tickets range from $10-12 for a wide selection of award-winning films, and 50 percent or more of each ticket will go towards supporting the theater.

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